VIDEO Boxed In

O our God, will You not judge [our enemies]? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You. 2 Chronicles 20:12

A classic set-up in old-time cowboy movies was to have the good guys be chased into a box canyon by the bad guys—steep canyon walls on three sides and no way out. It’s where the saying “He was boxed in!” originates. Of course, in the movies the good guys always find a way to escape and survive.

On more than one occasion in the Old Testament, a king of Israel or Judah felt boxed in by surrounding armies. Vastly outnumbered, slaughter seemed inevitable. In such cases—when all human alternatives had been exhausted—the kings would turn to the King of Heaven in prayer. King Jehoshaphat did just that when Jerusalem was surrounded by three enemy armies. You can read his prayer in 2 Chronicles 20:5-12. But his last words are those which we should take to heart: “Nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

When you find yourself boxed in by life, do what the kings did: Pray and ask God for His solution and deliverance.

When I pray, coincidences happen, and when I don’t, they don’t.  William Temple

Who is God? 2 Chronicles 20 – Ravi Zacharias – Sermon Jam

An Untroubled Relationship

“In that day you will ask in My name…,” that is, in My nature. Not “You will use My name as some magic word,” but— “You will be so intimate with Me that you will be one with Me.” “That day” is not a day in the next life, but a day meant for here and now. “…for the Father Himself loves you…”— the Father’s love is evidence that our union with Jesus is complete and absolute. Our Lord does not mean that our lives will be free from external difficulties and uncertainties, but that just as He knew the Father’s heart and mind, we too can be lifted by Him into heavenly places through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, so that He can reveal the teachings of God to us.

“…whatever you ask the Father in My name…” (John 16:23). “That day” is a day of peace and an untroubled relationship between God and His saint. Just as Jesus stood unblemished and pure in the presence of His Father, we too by the mighty power and effectiveness of the baptism of the Holy Spirit can be lifted into that relationship— “…that they may be one just as We are one…” (John 17:22).

“…He will give you” (John 16:23). Jesus said that because of His name God will recognize and respond to our prayers. What a great challenge and invitation— to pray in His name! Through the resurrection and ascension power of Jesus, and through the Holy Spirit He has sent, we can be lifted into such a relationship. Once in that wonderful position, having been placed there by Jesus Christ, we can pray to God in Jesus’ name— in His nature. This is a gift granted to us through the Holy Spirit, and Jesus said, “…whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” The sovereign character of Jesus Christ is tested and proved by His own statements.


Re-state to yourself what you believe, then do away with as much of it as possible, and get back to the bedrock of the Cross of Christ.  My Utmost for His Highest, November 25, 848 R


In The Storms of Life

1 Peter 4:12-19

Why is this happening to me? We’ve probably all asked that question at some point in our life. Perhaps our world was turned upside down by a medical diagnosis, a seemingly insurmountable financial crisis, a relationship that fell apart after starting out well, or a loss of some kind.

It’s natural to want to know why a storm has occurred, but how we choose to handle it is also important. Will our trust in the Lord increase as we watch Him use our suffering to make us more Christlike, or will we become bitter and resentful toward Him? In other words, will we rage against God or humbly submit?

Sometimes we bring trouble on ourselves with willful disobedience; other times, storms come through no fault of our own. In either case, difficulties are common to all of us. And Peter tells us not to be surprised at fiery ordeals as if something strange is happening to us. Whatever the cause, God uses trials to purify and refine us. Therefore, as we aim to continually do what is right in the Creator’s eyes, let’s keep on rejoicing in the Lord, with our hope firmly set on Christ’s return.

A Crucial Point

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” (Galatians 6:14)

Whenever people speak of “the crucial point of the issue” or “the crux of the matter,” they are inadvertently acknowledging the centrality of the cross of Christ, for these words are derived from the Latin crux, meaning “a cross.”

The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is right at the very heart of Christianity and also at the very heart of the opposition to Christianity. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).

It was at the cross, and on the cross, that Christ defeated Satan. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:14-15).

And it is at the cross that we also must be crucified, spiritually, if Satan is to be defeated in our own lives. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24). “Our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Romans 6:6).

Crucifixion, of course, is exceedingly painful, and therefore there is a very real “offence of the cross” (Galatians 5:11). Many Christians resist the demands on the life and the mind and the body that are entailed in such total identification with Christ. They would rather glory in earthly things. But how much better it is to glory, as Paul did, only in the cross, crucified unto the world. HMM

Really Too Much Originality

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.

—1 Timothy 6:20


Some preachers have such a phobia for repetition and such an unnatural fear of the familiar that they are forever straining after the odd and the startling. The church page of the newspaper almost any Saturday will be sure to announce at least one or two sermon topics so far astray as to be positively grotesque; only by the most daring flight of uncontrolled imagination can any relation be established between the topic and the religion of Christ. We dare not impugn the honesty or the sincerity of the men who thus flap their short wings so rapidly in an effort to take off into the wild blue yonder, but we do deplore their attitudes. No one should try to be more original than an apostle.   GTM144

Give me a word from heaven, Father, that will fly without my weak efforts at cute originality! Amen.


Celebrate Diversity!

For as the body is one, and hath many members…so also is Christ….For the body is not one member, but many.

—1 Corinthians 12:12, 14


God makes all of us different from one another, but by His Spirit He will bring divine illumination and power to our beings….It is God’s planned variety and not similarity that makes beauty and interest in our world.

We should thank God for giving us our own individual personalities and temperaments and abilities. We should never waste time and energy trying to fashion ourselves after someone else, no matter how much we admire that person. God does not expect us to become identical copies of our spiritual heroes….

In only these respects should we all try to be alike: We should love God more than anything or anyone else, we should hate sin and iniquity even as Jesus hated them, and we should be willing always to obey God through the leading of His Word and His Spirit. Apart from that, it is perfectly natural for us to be ourselves, that is, different from each other. JAF068-069

He gives the Spirit to each of His servants. The differences among Christian workers are not due to favoritism or partiality on the part of God, but to the different way in which each follower of Christ improves His gift. CTBC, Vol. 4/332


An Awful Day

John 14:1


Today, Lord, has been awful!

It started badly.

Imps of depression sat on the bedposts

waiting for me to wake,

ready to pounce on me,

to harry me

and fill me with their gloom.


My head ached, my nerves were edgy

and I felt irritable.


And then it rained …

Not a decent sort of rain, soon over and done with,

but a penetrating, miserable, drooling kind of rain

that wet-blanketed soul as well as body.


There are days like that, Master.

Days when life is heavy, boring, meaningless;

days when no ray pierces the inward gloom,

just plain bad days.


What is your recipe for such hours, Lord?

I am reminded of some words which were often on Your lips:

“Take heart!”

They must have comforted Your followers many times,

You used them when they were startled,

when they had lost their nerve,

when they needed encouragement.


I need encouragement, Master,

So I quiet my mind and wait to hear You say:

“Take heart!”

Thank You, Lord.

Flora Larsson, Just A Moment, Lord


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